Thursday, March 03, 2005

The fun and the not-at-all fun.

It's been a busy couple of days. I updated the March 19 flyers with all the "final" information on Tuesday. Things began to fall about on Wednesday. Nothing earth-shattering. There was a scheduling conflict with the venue we had reserved. So we're going to have to find another location. This is common when dealing with political events. I've probably created a thousand flyers over the years for events that never were. This is where being Minister of Ephemera (see below) comes in handy. I'll just crank up the production process again once the details are arranged.

The Fun

Meanwhile, for your pleasure, visit this fun Error Page. You'll want to have the sound on and wait until the final door slam. Very cute. Found via Presurfer. I've been visiting Presurfer for a few years now and I always find something to amuse me and pass along to my e-mail buddies.

The Not at all Fun

On the opposite scale of reality, I have been disturbed for days over something I read recently. I read a post over at A Tiny Revolution about Jerry Falwell. First, I've gotta say that Jonathan's blog is both informative and often hilarious. However, this particular post was in response to an excerpt from Jerry Falwell's 1987 autobiography, Strength for the Journey. I'll post the beginning of it. You can head over to the website to read the entire entry if you have the stomach for it. But do not go there if, like me, you cannot tolerate cruelty to animals. Here's the start:

There were times that Dad’s pranks bordered on cruelty. One of his oil-company workers, a one-legged man he nicknamed "Crip" Smith, complained about everything. Dad and Crip’s co-workers got tired of the old man’s bellyaching and decided to take revenge.

The full quote is available at the link above, but do not go and read it if you have the slightest concern for animals.

Jonathan and his many commenters make clear that this is no "prank" and that it goes far over the line of cruelty straight through to sadism and beyond to what Jonathan calls "batshit crazy". Hereinafter, I shall refer to said activity as the "BCE" for Batshit Crazy Event. Trust me. It's awful.

The damn thing is, I don't have anyone I can talk to about how disturbed I am by this BCE. I don't want anyone else to be running around with this horrifying image in her head. Yet I need to vent my rage. So I'll use the code "BCE" and you can just imagine the horrible event. Trust me. Whatever you are imagining, this is worse.

Granted, this quote is entirely out of context and, no, I'm not going to go read the book to understand it better. Falwell has never really been on my radar screen. I'm guessing I wouldn't like much of what he says and he wouldn't like me. But something about this BCE strikes me as typical of the bullying rhetoric that seems so common these days.

First, the lies.

"There were times that Dad’s pranks bordered on cruelty."

On any scale of decency, the BCE does not constitute either a "prank" or something "like" cruelty. It is cruelty. Period. Why not just say it? Why pretty it up with illusions? This is so reminiscent of the "boys will be boys" bullshit that gets spouted after a gang rape. Like that idiot lawyer who said forcing the Abu Graib prisoners into human pyramids was just like what cheerleaders do at football games. Falwell can feel perfectly comfortable shouting "sinner" at two women who love each other and choose to form a lifelong partnership. But he cannot bring himself to admit that Dad does anything other than participate in "a prank".

Second, the hypocrisy.

While these media pundits spend hours complaining about liberals, leftists and radicals taking over the world and destroying it for the good decent people, they never consider that their own talk consists of the "complaining" they claim to hate. It's always the other guy who's a whiner. Do you think for one minute that "Dad" and his oil-company workers weren't whining about Smith? If there was enough hostility to lead to the BCE, then you know there had to be several days if not weeks of "bellyaching" to stoke the fire of such hatred.

Third, the gang mentality.

Dad and Crip’s co-workers got tired of the old man’s bellyaching and decided to take revenge.

It's not enough to engage in a BCE against someone you dislike. You need to have a posse. Not only must you win against these people; you also must have an audience.

Fucking assholes.

The completely unrelated.

The other day I thought up an idea for an icon that could work for blog I like to read. I googled some images I vaguely remembered, threw them together in photoshop and e-mailed the file to the blogger. Her response: "You rock my world!" How cool is that? She's going to pass the idea on to a web-savvy friend and may actually use the icon in the future. It is one of the joys of having a skill that others can appreciate. Even if the icon never gets used, it shows that I thought about her, that her ideas sparked ideas in my own head and that created an action and a product we both could enjoy. This is why I became a skilled tradeswoman rather than a journalist. Stringing together words was never enough for me. Putting words and images together in a creative and informative way is far more fulfilling for me.


Anonymous said...

I feel exactly the same way about the Falwell story -- and for exactly the same reasons. I too find it extremely disturbing, and likely always will.

So, I apologize for putting it inside your head as well. But then again, I think it's important to recognize not just the wonderful things people do, but the depths of cruelty of which we're capable... particularly when those like Falwell have real power in this country. Only by facing this reality can we prevent them from doing such things on a larger scale.

Still: ack. I wish I could wash out my mind and remove that horrible stain.

Jon Schwarz

The Heretik said...

RavenNM: Added you to the blogroll More Than Three Wise Women Here. And just so we are all "on message," as Menister of Proper Gander, I should tell you you shall now be known as Feminister TM of Ephemera. You may now recieve proper hommage (or is that femmage?) from the minions.